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Amnesty Is Out of the Question

Until guilt is acknowledged, crimes investigated, those responsible held accountable, criminals punished, and the ongoing suppression of freedom dismantled and replaced, there is no thought of amnesty for the great many oppressed under the Covid virus pandemic restrictions. The suggestion itself is an insulting manifestation of the dehumanizing process to which the public has been subject these past several years, and the refusal to address the unjust suffering means there is no hope of going forward until such concerns have been realistically addressed.

So, where do we go from here and how do we get there? “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). There is only one place to go—to the Lord, and although everyone will not go to Him, that doesn’t mean we should not ourselves take immediate cover in God. Where should we get there? “You have the words of eternal life." We should return to a faithful Catholic way of life, fulfilling His will as best we can, living according to His commands and ordinances with humble, contrite hearts. Why humility and contrition? Because we are sinners all, desperately in need of salvation, mercy, truth, and peace that God alone can give.

While we acknowledge that many of us were grievously wronged, to refuse to vote or cooperate in anyway with the ongoing "regime" is self-defeating and not what the Lord would have us do. Consider prisoners in Nazi war camps: such individuals wondered why they should cooperate with a system that was corrupt and unchanging? The short answer is because they needed to survive, as witnesses so the atrocities could be redressed.

We see again and again in Scriptures that evil is temporary: “Therefore, the wicked will not stand firm at the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:5-6.) Ours is the struggle to survive until God brings about with our cooperation the salvation for which we hope. Consider the plight of God’s people under the suppression of Nebuchadnezzar, pagan king of Babylon. As captives, they were compelled to live under the oppression of an unjust system that was antagonistic to their religious practices and beliefs. Yet God introduced intelligent and wise men loyal to Himself, such as the prophet Daniel who would effect change in those policies that brought affliction and dread, even if those changes were only later realized with the following king Cyrus who was more amenable to God’s ways.

When we hold the Lord in esteem, we have much to hope from Him; grumbling does little good if our complaints do not lead us to trust and obedience that actively seeks His will in all things. Even our Savior went through this purification process, abandoning Himself to divine providence with prayer and hope while embracing the cross. What He demonstrates is that it is God we really need to trust. He is in control. Do we doubt? How can we hope to work for change without faith?

What do we do, how do we get there? We do what we’ve always done, by living with integrity according to the dictates of our faith, carrying out our religious, familial, and civic obligations much as St. Thomas More did who served a Protestant King Henry VIII with grace and fervor, even as that same king brought about the good saint’s demise. Trust in God makes ultimate success possible. And what could be more important? Now is the time for our Catholic virtues to shine.

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